My husband is a happy man. The other day as I was enjoying the warm days and cool evenings (finally) and the lowering populations of biting bugs I said, "I love August" and he replied with a very emphatic, "I LOVE August TOO!". There is little about Mark that is emphatic so I had to ask why and he quickly answered, "Because I get to drive my combine." So there you have it folks, love comes in all shapes and sizes. We have in fact begun to harvest the winter cereals (grain that is planted in the fall, ready before the spring-planted grains) this week. You can just barely see the red combine in the photo above against the red barn, but there he is, smiling I'm sure. He's in a field of winter wheat, although you'll probably notice that there is a LOT of fall rye in there as well. That's sort of our custom mix. I was going to try and let on that we did it on purpose, but we used our own seed and it's near impossible to separate rye and wheat seed, so they get planted together. I doubt if we will be using this grain as seed again. For feed purposes though it's ok. Some people claim that too much rye in a mix can be a problem, but there's not all that much rye, it just looks that way because it's so much taller.
I've tried to make up for my lack of posting by including a lot of pictures today. Whenever I put up a lot of pictures I think of my mom, who is one of the lucky few still using dial-up internet, and wonder how long it takes her to load up my blog. So to make it worth her wait I've also included some of the kids.We hosted our annual family get together at our place this past weekend, and as usual it was my favorite weekend of the year (except maybe Christmas). It was a bit smaller crowd than usual, partly due to the fact that we just had the big anniversary do a month ago, but what we lacked in quantity we made up for in quality. hahaha. Anyway, good times had by all and Lucy was in her glory with lots of people to watch and show off to.
Here she is in the feed cart ready to go water the chickens up in the pasture. Is that impatience on that face?
My garden has somehow flourished under my neglect and it's bean season right now. Holy smokes I've got beans coming out of my ears. I was a little worried when I planted them because it was my first time using seed that I had saved myself and wondered about my drying and storage capabilities, or lack thereof. Anyway, they are alive and well, producing like crazy. I love fresh beans, and Lucy loves to snap beans, but it might be time to start considering pickling mustard beans soon. I always buy a few broccoli transplants as well (since my own plants never do very well) and they are ready this week. Lucy helped me pick out the worms yesterday. She thought it was hilarious that they can hide so well and screeched everytime we found one. I think we caught them just in time, so I'd better go cut it all down today before they start eating and pooping all over it. Good broccoli though, and a family favorite in the vegetable world, so a keeper as far as I'm concerned.
We are involved with Nature's Crops this summer, as one of the sites on which they are using to see how various alternative crops grow organically. Below are some shots of some of the crops that are currently in flower. The small blue flowers are flax- I guess they are technically not part of any trial. Mark planted them as a surprise for me because I a)love how pretty they are and b)use the dried flax in some crafty sort of projects come fall. The orange flowers are calendula which is a really popular plant in the cosmetic and pharamceutical industry, but lots of other ways as well. We use some baby products that are made for calendula and have found that the best diaper rash stuff is made of the little orange plants (Weleda). Finally, the purple flowers are from the borage plant, also important in the cosmetic, pharmaceutical and health food industries. The borage looks like it is doing especially well under organic conditions, if I do say so myself.
This is a picture illustrating the latest frustration on the accounting side of the farm. It's sort of become my realm and anything that goes wrong becomes my fault and this time it's sort of true. When I worked for the federal government they were getting rid of a whole bunch of old office supplies to get new stuff and I saw this beautiful heavy wooden desk in the throw out pile. Not being able to resist I drug it home one day and insisted we make use of it. It's really big so it's perfect for the office (I need lots of desk space), but it has one small problem; it doesn't like humidity and we made it live in a basement. Which means that any drawers that were open when it got humid are permanently open and any there closed are permantly closed. This makes for a not-so-happy Mark. It also makes for a very messy desk because I can't file anything away. Messy desk also means a not-so-happy Mark. He might be mad that I posted this picture, but it was hilarious last night when he decided he was going to show that desk who was boss. Braced his big self up against it and 'come onto 'er' as they say. Nothing. Even some extra cursing didn't bring 'er around. So as I type this, papers, cheques, invoices, statements, envelopes, money, all clutters around together in a big messy mish mash. Welcome to Barnyard Organics.
Here's another shot of Wilson, who is just getting the hang of his jolly jumper and loving it. The last picture illustrates us perfectly I think. Mark is taking it all in, Wilson is completley relaxed and sleeping while Lucy keeps things interesting and I try to document it.
Whew, big one this morning. It must be obvious that I'm kid-free this morning (well one is gone and one is sleeping). I'd better go make better use of my 'free time' by trying to tidy up this desk and do some farm books.
Hope is all is well in your corner of the world,